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14 October 2020

Should I buy a Toyota?

Toyota is the world's bestselling car brand, but do its cars deserve that popularity? Find out whether Toyota is a car brand you should consider.
Toyota Prius
OT
Oliver Trebilcock

Although based in Japan, Toyota is a truly global company. Many of its models are designed and manufactured in Europe. 

The Auris, Auris Touring Sports and Avensis models are built at Toyota's UK factory in Derbyshire. The brand's French plant makes the Yaris, while the Aygo is made in the Czech Republic.

Toyota's trademark hybrid models - spearheaded by the pioneering Prius - are mostly built in Japan. While its popular C-HR SUV is built in Turkey.  

Toyota is ranked as the global 'number one', comfortably outselling all other automotive brands. So why is this Japanese giant such a success? It has relentlessly pursued engineering and manufacturing quality above all else, in an effort to provide customers with the reliability they crave.

The Which? Car Survey reveals whether this reputation is supported by the facts.  

Our tough tests reveal what you need to know about Toyota cars - head straight to our Toyota car reviews.

Toyota: Which? Car Brand of the Year 2020

Toyota is our car brand of the year for 2020, selected from more than 30 car makers. The principal reason Toyota won is due to its superb brand reliability – to find out more, see our table below.

It’s also a brand that goes beyond practicality. Its conventional designs in the past have been giving way to bolder, more attractive designs as it redefines its image across its range of hatchbacks, estates, city cars, SUVs and sports cars.

Our car owner survey shows Toyota’s customer satisfaction is exceptional, making this a challenging car company to beat. Toyota cars also have some of the lowest emissions we've seen compared to rivals, aside from pure electric and hydrogen models.

Our independent emission tests are tougher than the official tests. Use our free tool to find out which low emission cars we've uncovered.

How reliable are Toyota cars?

Toyota cars are reliable - or so the company's reputation would have you believe. But does the reality live up to the expectation?

Every year, we run an annual car survey where tens of thousands of people tell us about their current car and how reliable it is. Based on feedback from current Toyota owners, we have reliability data for new cars aged up to three years old, and also cars aged between three and eight years old. 

Which? members can login and use the table below to find out just how reliable Toyota cars really are. Not yet a Which? member? Join Which? to unlock all of our reliability ratings and our online reviews.

 

  Ratings and review
Toyota car reliability
0-3-year reliability
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3-8-year reliability
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Reliability description
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Table notes

We surveyed online 47,013 members of the general public covering 55,833 cars. Survey in field December 2019 to February 2020.

Find out how Toyota's reliability compares to its rivals - check our car brand reliability tool.

How much do Toyota cars cost?

Traditionally, Toyotas have been priced at slightly elevated levels compared to mainstream brands, matching the perceived quality of the Japanese company's branding.

So the Toyota Yaris, for instance, is definitely not the cheapest small car on the market, priced from around £13,000 right up to £20,000. Likewise, the Toyota Auris is very much pitched at VW Golf levels, starting at over £20,000.

Yet Toyota isn't always premium priced. The Toyota Aygo city car, for instance, starts at under £10,000.

Toyota's reputation for dependability and its long five-year new car warranty help keep second-hand values high, which benefits overall running costs as you lose less money when you come to sell the car on. Although it does mean your ticket to used Toyota ownership comes at a price.

It also means there may be some keen finance and PCP deals available.

Toyota Prius 

Toyota C-HR

Choosing the best Toyota car

Easily the most numerous Toyota in our survey is the Yaris small hatchback, and you can see why. It's relatively affordable, well made and offers plenty of usable space.

If you need a bit more of this, you can choose the Auris or Toyota Auris Touring Sports (estate), or go even bigger and opt for the huge Toyota Avensis

Toyota’s SUV crossover 4x4 range has expanded to include the C-HR, Toyota RAV4 and Landcruiser.

Toyota majors on petrol/electric ‘hybrid’ models, having invented the genre with the Toyota Prius - this remains the most popular hybrid car in the world. It's now also offered in a Prius Plug-In Hybrid form, so you can recharge it at home and use it as a pure electric vehicle for commuting.

Other Toyota hybrid models include the Auris Hybrid, Yaris Hybrid, C-HR Hybrid and RAV4 Hybrid.

Now you know all about Toyota, find out how its cars stack up compared to rivals. We test cars more comprehensively than anyone else - see our independent, expert Toyota car reviews.

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